HARFORD COUNTY — COVID protocols are being reintroduced in Harford County Public Schools to protect students and staff from the virus.
Effective January 4, the district canceled all after-school activities that are not part of the COVID_19 testing program. It also canceled field trips, social events and assemblies. HCPS facilities are closed to outside groups but before and after care will still be allowed to operate in schools. No spectators are allowed at sporting events and no audiences are allowed at performances.
The district also updated it's COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidelines to align with the CDC guidance released on December 27, 2021.
Students and staff who have tested positive or have been in close contact with someone who tested positive now should isolate at home for a minimum of 5 days. They should remain isolated for longer if symptoms develop or persist.
This policy change does apply to students and staff who are completing a 10- or 14-day quarantine or isolation as of January 4. People who test negative using a rapid or home test but remain symptomatic, should get a PCR test.
A letter to parents from the district said, "Keeping our students in school and healthy remains our priority. We can only do this with your help. Due to the prevalence of COVID-19 and possible exposure in all settings, including school, community, and home, we ask that you monitor your child daily for symptoms."
It goes on to say, "We will continue our mitigation strategies to ensure schools remain a safe environment for students and staff. Schools will enforce masking protocols, provide opportunities for handwashing throughout the school day, and continue to maintain distance between students whenever possible."
At this point there are no plans to close schools and the district says the operational updates are focused on keeping students in class.
You can read the districts entire policy here.
There is no timeline for when the COVID protocols, effective January 4, would be reevaluated.
The district has also set up three COVID-19 screening clinics over the next two weeks.
These clinics are for students and staff who are asymptomatic, haven't been in close contact with someone who tested positive, and are choosing to be tested. You must register through your school. Links to that can be found here.
Thursday, January 6, 2022 at Aberdeen High School from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at Fallston High School from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at C. Milton Wright High School from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
HCPS does not want anyone with symptoms to sign up for these particular screening events.